As a series of events have occurred in recent months, I’m remembering words spoken to me in my youth, “If you don’t do any better than what I’ve done, you haven’t done very much.” I believe that my mother was challenging me to do better and be better than she. This, I believe, was not just a challenge to be accomplished in the career of my choice but in every area of my life.
As I am confronted with heftier responsibilities, I am compelled more often than not do the right thing. Doing the right thing or the righteous thing does not always come easy. Nonetheless, I owe it to myself, my mother. Moreover, I follow after the wisdom of God.
When people don’t understand my commitment to do the right thing, I suffer – accused falsely by the intent purpose of my heart. Nevertheless, in this, I know that in my suffering, I’ll gain eternal life. I keep this in remembrance.
I submit to you, we’re not all the same yet, one in the same with different callings. My earnest desire is to love and obey God. It tells us in Romans 3:3 AMP; 3:4 KJV “What if some did not believe and were without faith? Does their lack of faith and their faithlessness nullify and make ineffective and void the faithfulness of God and His fidelity [to His Word]?” God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, that thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.” I say, Let truth prevail – God’s truth. Let us not give in to the cadence of man. Let us lead healthy and pure lives, lives that are pleasing to our heavenly Father. And though our suffering may seem long, remember God is on our side, and because he is on our side, we win! “It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.” Lamentations 3:22
I also remember my mother’s voice to her children, “Y’all think I talk a lot but I don’t say every thing I want to say.” Was she ever so right! I clearly understand her outcry. There was so much more she wanted to speak – I know it. Many times she was held in contempt and quickly judged by the words spoken through her by God. It is people like her that family and friends stood to benefit from the most. She’d often rehearse, Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” It became very clear to us, who she professed as the author and the finisher of her faith. (Hebrews 12:10)
My mother was looking forward to the work and yea, even the greater works in us that Jesus spoke about. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” John 14:12 I believe she spoke from this premise. Generally speaking, some settle too quickly, too easily. And some allow others to determine the fate of their future as their earthly vessels blow wind of deceit in our faces. Please, please, caution to the wind! In Jeremiah 29:11, The Lord declares his knowledge of the plans he has for us – plans to prosper us, not harm us but plans to give us hope and a future.
My mother knew that there would be days filled with terse words that could shake the very foundation of our faith. She sensed that if handled incorrectly, our spirits could be broken and torn apart at the least. I’ve had many days like this and it is days like this that make me eternally grateful for my mother’s consultation. Her words have been a source of consolation and has added years to my life.
And yes, she knew she had to put her mouth on my belly and her finger in my ear so when choked and suffocated by screeching words, of sorrow and defeat, the breath of her words would help keep me alive. Well, not only am I alive today, but I’m made new.
I cannot change how others respond to life’s challenges but I can seek after a better response to the things for which I am called to do.
Mother wanted better for me than she. “When you know better, do better,” she would say. Better is what I’ll do, better is what I’ll be. I have passed her words down to my sons – challenging them too, to do better, to be better and better is what they’ll be.
“Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:” Philippians 1:6
I remember – least I forget.